Less than three years into the pandemic, the U.S. has reached 1 million deaths from COVID-19, the CDC said Monday, per The Associated Press. President Biden last week ordered all federal flags to fly half-staff in recognition of the grim milestone.
Meanwhile, writes The New York Times, "cases are spreading at an alarming rate across the United States, particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest." The wave is probably worse than current counts show considering the results of take-home tests go unrecorded.
Average daily cases have increased 60 percent from two weeks ago, and hospitalizations are also on the rise nationwide (though at a slower pace), per the Times. In the Midwest, for example, health officials are warning high-risk individuals to begin wearing masks again indoors.
Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences Ajay Sethi told the Times he worries that the lack of widespread mask mandates is adding to a "generalized apathy toward new variants and transmission prevention.
"We never really have, in this country, embraced prevention as a whole," he said.
One million virus deaths "is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days," AP writes. "It's as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out."
"It is hard to imagine a million people plucked from this earth," Jennifer Nuzzo of Brown University's School of Public Health told AP. "It's still happening and we are letting it happen."